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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Ethiopian Airlines to Deploy Autonomous UVC Disinfecting Solution


Ethiopian Airlines is set to elevate the passenger experience of customers with the deployment of an autonomous aircraft sanitization robot, manufactured by Aero HygenX executives, inventors of RAY.


The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining a plan for fleet-wide deployment and regional marketing of Aero HygenX’s autonomous UV-C light disinfecting robot.

The signing of this MoU marks the first foray into the African market for Aero HygenX, a Canadian technology company taking aviation by storm with its safe, efficient, and chemical-free solution designed for aircraft cabins and rail cars. Ethiopian Airlines has become the first African carrier to roll out the new technology that takes aviation safety to the next level.


The two parties intend to establish local final assembly capabilities for Aero HygenX’s autonomous UV-C disinfecting robot “RAY”, thus creating local employment opportunities and expediting rollout of the chemical-free, pathogen-killing solution for Ethiopian Airlines.

The MoU further sets out to foster the exchange of expertise and ideas between Aero HygenX and the Ethiopian Airlines Innovation Hub, which leads all innovation activities across Ethiopian Airlines. The purpose of the Innovation Hub collaboration is to further optimize the product and determine where else in the retravel chain, and indeed the wider region, Aero HygenX’s leading disinfection technology can be useful.

Ethiopian Airlines is one of the few airlines that has been successful in combating the adverse effects of COVID-19 innovatively and Aero-Hygienx has come up with a phenomenal technology that enhances biosafety. The airline has been commended by international humanitarian organizations for its commitment to the global fight against the pandemic.


In addition to the airlines ‘safety first ‘policy and the increasing number of safety-conscious travellers, the MOU signed with Hygienx will help it attract more customers and recover quickly.

Aero HygenX was formed in January 2020 by a group of self-proclaimed aviation “geeks” (aka enthusiasts) with strong backgrounds in technology and aviation.

In March 2020 RAY, the only fully autonomous UV-C disinfecting robot was introduced to market and the first production line units were delivered to customers in April 2021. Already, the company has customers across Canada, the USA, the Middle East, and now East Africa.


Designed for the transportation industry, RAY is a compact and light-weight autonomous robot which uses motion sensing technology to navigate cramped spaces (such as aircraft cabins) and disinfect surfaces quickly, safely, and without the use of harmful chemicals, using UV-C light.


RAY has the ability to disinfect a narrow-body aircraft (such as a B737 or A320) in as little as seven minutes and can also be used to treat in lavatories so airlines can fully sanitize aircraft after every flight.

Unlike competing disinfection robots, the RAY unit does not require a crew member to move it through the cabin. Furthermore, RAY can be optimized for various aircraft types and comes equipped with HygenX Stream, a customizable software that records and transmits usage data wirelessly to the cloud, providing valuable system health monitoring and status updates to the operator.


UV-C light has been used to effectively disinfect food, water, and air for decades. It is proven to destroy the pathogens that cause MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV1, Ebola, and SARS-CoV2 (and other serious viruses).

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